Microsoft Patents Page Up and Page Down

Illustration for article titled Microsoft Patents Page Up and Page Down

Just so everyone knows, Microsoft has been awarded a patent for Page Up/Page Down. Yup, it's theirs now. They called it. You can't touch it. And if anyone takes issue with the clear fact that Microsoft invented hitting a button to skip to the next page of text, you'll have to take it up with the principal and/or Microsoft's parents. Because we think that Microsoft might have ringworm so we're afraid to get too close. Oh, and just in case you think we're living in crazy world, here's the patent's abstract:

A method and system in a document viewer for scrolling a substantially exact increment in a document, such as one page, regardless of whether the zoom is such that some, all or one page is currently being viewed. In one implementation, pressing a Page Down or Page Up keyboard key/button allows a user to begin at any starting vertical location within a page, and navigate to that same location on the next or previous page. For example, if a user is viewing a page starting in a viewing area from the middle of that page and ending at the bottom, a Page Down command will cause the next page to be shown in the viewing area starting at the middle of the next page and ending at the bottom of the next page. Similar behavior occurs when there is more than one column of pages being displayed in a row.

[US Patents via GigaOM]

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So does that mean other companies and such cannot use the function that a Pg Up and Pg Down key performs now?

Will we get keyboard with the Pg Up and Pg Down keys pried off?

Can someone tell me how exactly this affects Consumers and the everyday people? Thanks!